Massive A77 Flash Test (14-image series)

Started May 18, 2012 | Discussions thread
Fotohouse Regular Member • Posts: 343
Re: Conclusions

jl_smith wrote:

I'm not sure what to think, really. Page 135 of the manual to use a subject distance of 3.3 feet or more when using the flash, which I exceed (4 feet). I'll also have to test a series of 5 feet, 10 inches using onboard (in my original series, I was at this distance but using the 43 AM), as perhaps the Sony manual is too lenient with the 3.3 feet recommendation, because as my examples show the flash becomes too hot rather quickly.

What doesn't the test show? For one, I didn't test a backlighting situation (yet). I've had multiple instances of my subjects (using spot metering) becoming completely washed out by flash in back-lit situations. There seems no rhyme or reason why it would do such a thing, as the spot-metered value is much lower than the 1/250s sync cutoff indoors, where I'm bouncing the 43AM (and HSS won't work), and outdoors using HSS and backlit, the exposures are still too bright (again, the 43AM, and I have two of them).

What I think? Perhaps Sony's minimum flash duration is simply too much for any ISOs above base ISO?? Some of my results show a decent response to the camera controls at ISO 100 (perhaps actually honoring the -1.3EV, for instance), but this quickly disappears when comparing ISO 200 images between tests, etc.

This makes no sense - Who in their right mind would use flash in a dark room with ISO 100? I guess if you wanted the "direct flash club look' where your subject is lit and everything else is nearly black, sure.

I often use flash at ISO 100 in a dimly lit room, Low power fill in manual mode and drag the shutter to keep the ambient lighting in the background. Since I often blur the background I don't care about motion blur in the background and the flash freezes the subject. I generally do not want the noise that comes with higher ISO's

But, most people with brains, shooting in a dark location, are going to up their ISO. For one, it gives helps the flash by lowering its required output power, and two it would allow more ambient light to come through, properly balancing (hopefully) subject and background light.

My A77, though, seems to completely ignore this logic. If, in a darkish room environment, I choose ISO 800 and direct flash - forget about it, my subject will probably become too hot.

I'm going to have to experiment more, though - maybe there is a logic that I'm not understanding.

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